$1.3 Trillion Federal Spending Bill Approved—Good News for Transit and Community Development Programs

It was touch and go there for a little bit today, but in the end President Trump signed a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill that spares many transit and community development programs.

2 minute read

March 23, 2018, 1:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Campaign Rally

president Trump at a campaign rally in Pittsburgh on March 10, 2018. | Jack Fordyce / Shutterstock

President Trump signed a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill into law today, averting a government shutdown and resolving the ongoing mystery of how much funding for capital investment in transit and programs for the Department of Housing and Urban Development would survive the Republican party's control of Congress and the presidency.

Here's how Michael Grunwald describes the political drama that has flavored the Trump Administration's spending and legislative priorities in the first year-plus of its existence:

President Donald Trump’s budget proposals have taken a hatchet to President Barack Obama’s top priorities. They’ve called for deep cuts in renewable energy, medical research and nonmilitary spending in general. They’ve eliminated TIGER, a grant program for innovative transportation projects created by Obama’s stimulus bill; ARPA-E, an energy research agency launched by the stimulus; and CDBG, a community development program many Republicans consider an urban slush fund.

What then was the actual result of all those pronouncements by the Trump Administration? "Now the Republicans who control Congress have passed a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill, and it not only protects Obama’s priorities, it expands them," writes Grunwald.

President Trump's displeasure with the substance of the omnibus spending bill could be detected throughout the day leading up to his signing the bill. He spent the morning threatening to veto the bill and said he would "never sign another like this," but sign the bill, he did.

For more details on the substance of the omnibus spending bill, see articles posted earlier this week by Dylan Matthews for Vox and another by a trio of reporters for the Washington Post. CBS and the AP published an article about the details of the bill earlier this week. Planetizen Correspondent Irvin Dawid also reported on the consequences of the bill for the beleaguered Amtrak Gateway Program.

Here are a few key takeaways with regard to federal programs that fund planning efforts around the country:

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 in Associated Press via CBS News

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